FF Euro hopeful Fitzpatrick vows to forget Bertie
NEW Fianna Fail Euro hopeful Mary Fitzpatrick has insisted she will not be seeking votes based on her previous battles with Bertie Ahern.
The Dublin city councillor will seek the party nomination to run in the three-seat Dublin constituency in May's European elections.
She is well-known for her clashes with the former Taoiseach, who was the dominant force in their shared Dublin Central constituency.
He sent voters a signed letter the day before the 2007 general election urging them to give their number one vote to him, number two to his close associate Cyprian Brady and number three to Ms Fitzpatrick.
Mr Brady got only 939 first preference votes but the lion's share of Mr Ahern's transfers, putting him into the Dail instead of Ms Fitzpatrick
She told the Herald that her campaign would not be about "going back over old ground".
"It's going back seven years now and I've been elected 10 years. Honestly, in approaching this election campaign, it's about the future for Dublin and for Europe. It's not about the past," she said.
Fianna Fail has had no TDs in Dublin since its near wipe-out in the 2011 General Election, nor any MEPs.
It means the May election will be crucial to the efforts of leader Micheal Martin to rebuild the party in the city.
Ms Fitzpatrick has pledged to serve her full five-year term if she is elected to the European Parliament, and not to quit in 2016 to run for the Dail.
But she said the first step will be winning the Fianna Fail selection convention expected by the end of this month. She has the backing of five Fianna Fail Dublin councillors.
Other contenders for the nomination include former Fianna Fail senator Geraldine Feeney and Gay and Lesbian Equality Network director Tiernan Brady.
Former minister Mary Hanafin has also expressed an interest in running, but Fianna Fail senator Averil Power has ruled herself out.
"My priority has always been winning a seat in Dublin Bay North in the next general election," said Ms Power.
Labour MEP Emer Costello and Socialist Party MEP Paul Murphy will be seeking to retain the seats they took over during the past term from Proinsias de Rossa and Joe Higgins respectively.
Fine Gael has not yet selected a candidate to replace sitting MEP Gay Mitchell, who is retiring. Sinn Fein's candidate is ecologist Lynn Ni Bhaoigheallain.